Mammograms do not find every breast
cancer because mammograms even under ideal conditions mammograms do
not find every breast cancer. The most common sign of
breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A
mass that is painless, hard, and has irregular edges is more likely
to be cancerous, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded.
For this reason, it is important that any new mass, lump, or breast
change is checked by a health care professional with experience in
diagnosing breast diseases.
Other possible signs of breast cancer include:
- swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump
- skin irritation or dimpling
- breast or nipple pain
- nipple retraction (turning inward)
- redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
- a nipple discharge other than breast milk
Sometimes a breast cancer can spread to underarm lymph nodes and
cause a lump or swelling there, even before the original tumor in
the breast tissue is large enough to be felt. Swollen lymph nodes
should also be reported to your doctor.